Finally: The Venezuelan Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness

posted at 6:41 pm on October 31, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

I don’t know how I could have managed to miss this most glorious of news items last week, but it makes complete sense that the government of a bona fide socialist utopia would have little else to worry about than more perfectly coordinating the already effervescent happiness of its citizens — obviously.

Americans may insist on the right to pursue happiness, but Venezuela now has a formal government agency in charge of enforcing it.

President Nicolas Maduro says the new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness will coordinate all the “mission” programs created by the late President Hugo Chavez to alleviate poverty.

Wags had a field day Friday, waxing sarcastic on Twitter about how happy they felt less than 24 hours after the announcement.

Oil-rich Venezuela is chronically short of basic goods and medical supplies. Annual inflation is running officially at near 50 percent and the U.S. dollar now fetches more than seven times the official rate on the black market.

Now, I could be wrong here, but I think the mere ability to obtain basic goods like toilet paper, soap, and milk would probably go a lot farther in furthering Venezuelans’ happiness than an entire bureaucracy of welfare programs dedicated to the incandescent memory of the late Hugo Chavez, no? Evidently, current “president” Nicolas Maduro does not happen to think so, via the Daily Beast:

“We must elevate the missions to heaven, in gratitude to Chávez,” Maduro announced in a national broadcast, in a nod to the founder of the so-called Bolivarian revolution, now in its 14th year.

The brand new ministry will “look after our elderly men and women [and] care for our boys and girls,” Maduro announced, in the spirit of “the most sublime and loved of revolutionary peoples” and in the name of “moving beyond the capitalist order.”

The announcement came on the heels of another recent Orwellian flourish, “Loyalty and Love to Hugo Chavez Day,” a new entry to the Bolivarian calendar, meant to rally loyal Chavistas ahead of the December 8 municipal elections.

In a land battered by street crime, the hemisphere’s worst inflation (50 percent a year), and blackouts that left 70 percent of the country in the dark at one point in September, word of yet another grand government reform initiative was met with skepticism and considerable public derision.

Maduro was content to run his entire election campaign earlier this year on a platform that entailed little more than his status as the right-hand man and personally chosen successor of Hugo Chavez, but as the economic situation in Venezuela has only continued to deteriorate, he’s only clinging more and more fiercely to Chevez’s legacy rather than even bothering to try and forge his own. This latest iteration of a “the beatings will continue until morale improves” socialist mentality is not doing much to dissuade Venezuelans that Maduro’s rule is anything less than an epic disaster, and I doubt even the imposition of mandatory happiness will be enough to stop his political opposition from making gains in their December 8th elections.


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effervescent memory.

unclesmrgol on October 31, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Sounds like that scene in “Flash Gordon,” Dale’s forced marriage to the Emperor Ming. A couple of rockets fly across the background trailing banners that say:

“All creatures will make merry”

“Under pain of death.”

Venezuela’s been looking like a bad movie for quite a while now.

de rigueur on October 31, 2013 at 6:51 PM

President Nicolas Maduro says the new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness will coordinate all the “mission” programs created by the late President Hugo Chavez to alleviate poverty.

This was probably translated with the wrong order of words.

It should read the Happy Ministry of Supreme Socialist Vice.

Steve Z on October 31, 2013 at 6:51 PM

I like the Flash Gordon reference, the part I find most relevant:

Ming: “Let’s just say they’ll be satisfied with less.”

WitchDoctor on October 31, 2013 at 6:57 PM

“Maduro stole that idea from me, he didn’t build that!”

-Dog Eater

Bishop on October 31, 2013 at 7:08 PM

de rigueur on October 31, 2013 at 6:51 PM

WitchDoctor on October 31, 2013 at 6:57 PM

All they need is some frowzy fiftyish Rosa Luxemburg type to run it like Ms. Li ran Lawndale High in Daria.

Or like the b***h who ran an entire planet that way in The Happiness Patrol.

The trouble with trying to parody Communist banana republics is the demented reality of same.

clear ether

eon

eon on October 31, 2013 at 7:10 PM

All they need is some frowzy fiftyish Rosa Luxemburg type to run it like Ms. Li ran Lawndale High in Daria…

eon on October 31, 2013 at 7:10 PM

You’re thinking of the President of Argentina.

de rigueur on October 31, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Coming soon to here…

Obama’s already opened “The people’s healthcare stores”.

Can the people’s foodstores and “peoples food assurance” be far behind?

Skywise on October 31, 2013 at 7:28 PM

The Venezuelan Vice Doge of Supreme Social Happiness

much glory. so amaze. great happiness! wow

Marcola on October 31, 2013 at 7:29 PM

There is nothing like sitting on the pot and finding out there is no more toilet paper to make me very unhappy. It must be tough in ChavezLand.

Blake on October 31, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Chavez will be the first patron saint of their new state religion.

“Hugo Chavez’s face mysteriously appeared on subway tunnel wall: successor”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/hugo-chavez-face-mysteriously-appeared-successor-article-1.1502769#ixzz2jLWWm6B1

*blech*

workingclass artist on October 31, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Maduro, isn’t that another was of saying “FART!” in Spanish?

GarandFan on October 31, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Not just regular social happiness, but SUPREME social happiness!

the_moll on October 31, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Leftists don’t understand process, productivity, and ability. They think outcomes are all luck, and therefore can be dictated if you just have enough power. Even things like “social happiness”. Likewise, if their dictated outcomes don’t turn out like they planned, it’s because someone else has more power than they do and have sabotaged their glorious plans. Ace said something similar today, and people are starting to notice that Leftists the world over seem to be awash in unintended consequences and floundering about making grand decrees and looking for scapegoats. The Democrat’s latest idea to pass a bill demanding that insurance companies make Obama’s bogus promise into reality without any change to the conditions that caused the problem is all part of the same theater of the absurd.

Socratease on October 31, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Socratease on October 31, 2013 at 8:39 PM

“How dare you say intrusive leftards who are drowning in personal debt can’t run budgets as effectively as those who do know how to balance their own checkbooks!”

A simple term to describe these tyrants is arrogant, of which the stupid you mention is necessarily a component – they lack the humility needed to acknowledge that they don’t know everything they believe they do…

Anti-Control on October 31, 2013 at 10:00 PM

*they lack the humility & intelligence needed

Anti-Control on October 31, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Reminds me of the Monty Python skit about the kingdom of Happy Valley, where everybody had to be happy or else. At a trial, the defendant had been heard to moan softly at the death of his wife. Sez the judge, “I sentence you to be hanged by the neck until you cheer up!”

Tyrone Slothrop on November 1, 2013 at 9:49 AM